A single fluorescent tube illuminates this 11 feet by 8 feet room. I stretch across the bed. I wanted to see if I could touch one wall with my feet and the opposite with my hands. Yes, just barely. The AC is good and strong except in a room this small, you are either freezing cold or just a bit damp and icky. This is not the smallest room I’ve stayed in but it ranks in the top 5. I stare up at the ceiling at the tube of light; I have no desire to move.
It’s barely 6am, I leave this tiny room for the first time and watch Yangon unfold. A bowl of noodles, two cups of creamy sugary instant coffee at a teahouse and I return to the tiny room through a series of side streets. All I want is to return to my little cocoon that is slightly too cold and Sherlock.
What do you mean you are hiding in your room watching TV in Myanmar? Isn’t there anything to do?
I stare up at the light and realize this must be what its like for those who never want to travel and see the world. There is a safe little nest where everything is predictable and you have all your needs meet. There is no desire to venture beyond. The thought of straying too far from the nest is …well…unappealing and unnecessary…which is how I feel right now. Except, I take comfort in knowing this cocoon state is extremely temporary.
It’s happened before. Cape Town, Barcelona, Salta, London…the exoticism of the locale is irrelevant when you are perpetually on the road. When you need to hide, sleep, binge watch TV or stay up all night and read, simply do. One should always listen and follow their instincts. You can’t schedule these impulses and down time, they may prove to be inconvenient but you are not a machine. For a day or three, Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and this tiny room is all I need and want. There is something beautiful in the simplicity, once you get over the depressing bits. Screw the temples, the monks, a country that is transitioning out of 50 years of military dictatorship and opening up for the first time. I will get to it when I am good and ready.